Global Launch

UW Global Launch in London is a year-long academic and experiential opportunity designed for first-year UW students to prepare them for success as global citizens in today’s interconnected world. The selected cohort, led by a UW professor, will engage in classroom learning, guest lecturers, guided visits around London and overnight excursions. While exploring British culture, students will complete core credit requirements and serve the community in which they will live through an international service learning component.

Participants on this program will receive the Chris & Suzy (Oldorf) DeWolf Family Global Launch Scholarship. Awards are: Wisconsin Resident: $20,000; Minnesota Resident: $15,000; Non-resident: $10,000. This scholarship aims to ensure that the cost of study abroad for the first-year is comparable to the on-campus overall cost of attendance.

First Impressions

Ben: My first impressions of London likely can't be given justice in words, but it has so far been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. In just this first month I can tell I am making memories that I will remember and talk about for the rest of my life. I've loved meeting not only people from the UK, but people from all around the world, because London is a major hub for world travelers. Our visit to St. Paul's Cathedral also showed me my new fear of heights!
Callum: Living and studying in London for the past month has been nothing short of incredible. Adjusting to life in London has been very easy for me, and I have been able to begin my year abroad with no issues. The magnitude of the city of London can be overwhelming at times, though it is reassuring to know that that there’s always more things to explore, and that we will have an entire academic year to do so. Living in Kensington has been great, as we are able to stay in a more residential, and calm area, yet other parts of the city are still very accessible. I have been exploring different parts of the city nearly every day, but oddly enough, one of my favorite photos I’ve taken so far came right from the Metrogate house in Kensington.
Gwen: London is an impossible mix of familiar yet new. The city is home to such a diversity of foods, peoples, architecture, fashion, etc. I’ve found that the best way to enjoy it is to wander the streets and go where it looks interesting, and I am guaranteed to find something amazing.
Mya: I was captivated with London's beauty right away. There are so many diverse places here in London and I love exploring around London. The places I've been to have been extremely intriguing as well as enjoyable. I've been loving my stay here so far and excited for more adventures!
Adam: When I got to London, I was excited to find that the city has so much to offer- especially as a student who loves to explore. From markets to museums, London definitely has something for everyone, and I'm so thrilled that I have a whole year to experience so many new things! Though our first day here was a bit stressful, the view that I got to enjoy that evening made it all feel worth it. I'm so excited about what we've been able to do so far, and all that is to come!
Anastasia: London has been an amazing experience for me so far. The area is gorgeous and full of life with a never-ending list of excursions. The number of markets, shops, museums and free activities available are almost overwhelming and I’m so excited to try everything. Living in the center of the city allows me to travel to virtually all the places I want to see- I love public transportation! The picture of me was at the Camden market which holds a vast array of food options. Being able to enjoy London as a freshman is life changing and I will carry this experience with me forever.
Ana: My year abroad in London is off to a great start! I have seen so many museums, shows, markets, parks, statues/monuments, telephone booths, and more in such a short time. This picture is from my first week, when we went to the show Six at the Vaudeville Theater for our UW Art and Literature: Renaissance to Remix class. It has been amazing to experience London with our classes and on our own. So far, I have learned a lot about the people, culture, and history of the UK, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds.
Brita: I have been in London for a month now and it still feels like I’m on a holiday (that’s British for vacation). I have already seen so much of the city, from art galleries to historical monuments, most of which have been explored on class time. Some days I walk into my classroom expecting a lecture, and an hour later I’m standing in the National Gallery looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting. It is surreal to think that I am given the opportunity to explore all of the history and culture of this incredible city for class credit!
Maya: London has been amazing so far for me! I’ve been able to do so much in the last month (seeing plays and musicals, riding the tube, exploring the different boroughs, etc.). My favorite thing to do is take my weekly trip to the British Library and study for my classes.
Kian: When I arrived in London, the first week was kind of terrifying. It was so exciting, but everything was new, the city is so much bigger than I expected, and I was constantly getting lost. Now that I've been here for a month, I'm finally feeling settled in, getting used to the neighborhood, and am exploring some of the markets around me!
Bella: My move to London has been quite amazing. I have been adjusting very well and have explored lots of different places around London and even in the UK. In this picture I am in a little hut at Stonehenge. While at Stonehenge, some friends and I were able to witness the 21-gun salute for the new king since Queen Elizabeth II had passed away. After Stonehenge we had gone to Salisbury to explore the little town and its market. London has been such a meaningful opportunity to explore and learn about a different environment.
Claire: Experiencing London and its extremely diverse culture and vast variety of historical and modern museums has sparked a newfound curiosity in me. I have also been learning a lot about how the Monarchy affects people and their culture during this monumental time in British history. My friend and I took a weekend trip to a town in Northern England, York. This picture was taken in front of the York Minster, one of the many picturesque scenes of the quaint and lively town.
Thomas: Through my first few weeks in London, I have had the pleasure of exploring and discovering how London presents a wide range of experiences that few other cities provide. From the abundance of museums, many of them free, that offer rich cultural information to the beautiful parks sprinkled throughout, I can say my experience in London so far has been great so far. I'm excited for what else I find here and I'm also excited for the trips that lie ahead outside of London.
Maverick: London is overwhelming in the best way possible; every morning holds new possibilities. Classes are awesome because every day it’s a dip into the unknown as every teacher takes you on field trips using London as the classroom itself. I can’t wait for the rest of my time here.

Places: Favorite & Routine

Adam: My routine place to study in London has to be my desk in my room. Though not as interesting as one of the city's incredible libraries, it has been the best place to concentrate and crank out my schoolwork for the week.
Adam: One of my favorite places in London so far has been the Borough market. There, I am always able to find good food from one of its many incredible food stalls. On top of this, the market is a great place to find fresh ingredients for cooking back at Metrogate. I'm so excited to continue exploring the markets of the city!
Charlotte: A place that is definitely routine is my bedroom with two southeastern facing windows, giving my roommates and myself wonderful views of the sunrise and sometimes with a little craning, the sunset! It’s amazing to get to look out over the beautiful Borough of Kensington and Chelsea every day!
Charlotte: One of my favorite places to go so far has been Holland Park, which contains various different gardens. It’s a little calmer than the bustle of Hyde Park, and was a stunning place of serenity. There is surely always more to see in all of London’s many parks and gardens.
Anastasia: One routine place is our block! We walk down this street everyday for class and to get to the nearest tube station. Often times after it rains, it leaves a beautifully sunset.
Anastasia: My favorite place to explore in London has been in Kyoto Gardens! We visited earlier in the year when the trees where still green and it was gorgeous there. It was created as a sign of peace and friendship between Japan and the United Kingdom.
Benjamin: My favorite place to revisit has to be Hyde Park. I love being around nature and there's always spots to go sit and relax.
Thomas: This is one of the kitchens on the floor I'm staying on. It's where I prepare most of my meals but it can get cramped when multiple people are moving around in the room.
Thomas: My favorite spot in London to explore would probably be Hyde Park. The varied plant life and fountains make for an interesting and relaxing place to explore regularly.
Benjamin: I've enjoyed exploring Canary Wharf. There is so much to do, and it makes for great day trips with friends. There's so many good restaurants to try, and there's plenty to do just outside the city. The parks surrounding the city are so fun to visit with friends and there's several farm-like areas that bring me back to the Midwest.

Reflections from London

Something new I learned while in London was the different types of cities mixed together in this unique place. Before living here, I didn't know that London actually had a significant skyline. I always just associated it with Victorian and Classical buildings. But my time here has shown me that London is both a historic and modern city, one that is proud of its past but also evolving with the future. This struck me when I visited Spitalfields with its tall and condensed skyline. It's another reason why this city is so great as it further illustrates that it has so much to offer. - Thomas
My class recently went to the British Museum. Beforehand, our professor had discussed the impact of the British Empire and colonialism on the museum and its contents. While there, we walked through various galleries, paying close attention to underlying themes of imperialism and such. It put every museum I have ever been to in great perspective because the British Museum is rather famous for housing many artefacts that are being asked to be returned, but who knows how many other museums have the same roots. Being in the space really made it easy to imagine the places where the artefacts came from. I could also see newer exhibits, where the curators had made a clear attempt to pull away from the past trend of separating an object from the culture it came from. - Gwen
We visited the British Museum which is one of the largest museums in the world. It contains countless numbers of artifacts, paintings, and historical items of importance. This museum is visited by hundreds every day and its influence is known across the world. We visited this museum as a part of our British Life and a Cultures class, as we were discussing the importance of this museum and the vast reach of the British Museum to the people of the UK. It makes sense that this vast collection would hold importance, however in our class discussions, we talked about the effects of imperialism and how this makes us view all the potentially ‘stolen’ artifacts from whichever culture is in the exhibit. I had never thought about this before, as viewing museums like this rarely conjure up conversations like this one. - Anastasia
I've learned a lot about sustainability during my stay here especially during class. I went on a walk in Canary Wharf to the Isle of Dogs where I observed sustainable methods. They focused a lot on waste management, and it reflected the nature of the areas because it was clean. They have a lot of public transportation and bikes so there wasn't a lot of traffic to create pollution. However, since Canary Wharf is one of the wealthiest areas in London, they can focus on sustainable methods. When I come back, I'm looking into investing in a reusable bag when shopping. It just comes down to be self-aware in what you're doing and knowing if it'll have negative effects even if it may seem little. - Mya
We were able to see Hamilton for our Contemporary British Theatre Class. This is not the first time I saw Hamilton but seeing it in a British setting was very interesting. The audience definitely found more amusement with the reenactment of King George than American audiences. My group led the discussion for the musical and we spoke on topics surrounding modern theatre, history, and race. Before the discussion I read an essay speaking on the nuances of Hamilton and that the musical portrays a facade of America. The essay basically argues that the Hamilton cast (that is mainly POC), are the same people who have been ignored in America's founding history. The essay helped me gain a new perspective of the musical with how we can rewrite past stories into positive ones, but we shouldn't forget the real history behind it. - Maya
I have had the opportunity to try a lot of new food here in London and really expand my palate. There are a plethora of cuisines to try, especially at markets. My favorites are Jamaican food especially in Brixton, Lebanese, and Japanese food. While I would say I am usually eating foods from various ethnic backgrounds, one English food I do really like are scones with clotted cream and jam. English scones are really just American biscuits, but the combination of clotted cream and jam is so delicious. You can get these at high-tea, most bakeries, or just at the grocery store! - Claire

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